10 Things to Know Before Traveling to Morocco

Everything you should know before traveling to Morocco

Morocco, a country of diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage, offers an unforgettable travel experience. However, to ensure your trip goes smoothly, it’s essential to be well-prepared. Here are ten key things to know before traveling to Morocco.

1. Currency and Money

Morocco’s official currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). It’s advisable to carry cash with you, especially in smaller towns and rural areas where credit cards may not be accepted. You will find ATMs widely available in cities, but notify your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with withdrawals, specially if you will be arriving from Australia or USA. Additionally, keep some small bills handy for tipping and small purchases in the local markets.

2. Language

While Arabic and Berber are the official languages, you will find French widely spoken, especially in business and tourist settings. English can be heard in bigger cities. Learning a few basic phrases in Moroccan Arabic (Darija) or French can go a long way in enhancing your travel experience and connecting with locals, invest some time in catching few basis phrases.

3. Dress Code

Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, and modesty in dress is very appreciated. For women, it’s advisable to wear loose-fitting clothing that covers the shoulders and knees. Men should also avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts in public. In tourist areas, the dress code is more relaxed, but respectful attire is always a good idea.

4. Respect Local Customs

Moroccans are known for their hospitality, but it’s important to respect their customs and traditions. During the holy month of Ramadan, for example, avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours. Always ask for permission before taking photographs of people, particularly women.

5. Bargaining in the Souks

Haggling is a common practice in Moroccan markets (souks). You should negotiate the price for goods, from souvenirs to spices. Start by offering about half of the initial asking price and work your way up. Bargaining should be done with a smile and a friendly attitude.

6. Transportation

Morocco has a reliable transportation network, including trains, buses, and taxis. Trains are a comfortable and efficient way to travel between major cities like Marrakech, Casablanca, and Fez. In cities, ‘petit taxis’ are a convenient option, but make sure the meter is running or agree on a fare beforehand. There are some mobile apps available, but be aware they are not officially approved.

7. Stay Hydrated and Eat Safely

Tap water in Morocco is safe to drink, but lot of people stick to bottled water. When it comes to food, indulge in local cuisine but be cautious with street food, especially if it looks like it has been sitting out for a while. Opt for freshly cooked dishes to avoid any stomach issues.

8. Accommodation Options

Morocco offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. From luxury hotels and resorts to traditional riads and budget hostels, there’s something for everyone. Staying in a riad, a traditional Moroccan house with an interior garden or courtyard, provides an authentic experience and often includes breakfast. And what about camps in the desert?

9. Cultural Etiquette

Moroccans are warm and welcoming, and showing respect for their culture will enhance your experience. When greeting someone, a handshake is common, but wait for a woman to extend her hand first. Public displays of affection are frowned upon, and it’s polite to use your right hand for eating and giving gifts.

10. Unique Experiences

Don’t miss out on unique Moroccan experiences. Consider a camel trek in the Sahara Desert, a stay in a Berber village, or a visit to a traditional hammam (bathhouse). Participate in a cooking class to learn how to make traditional dishes like tagine and couscous. These activities offer a deeper understanding of Moroccan culture and traditions.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate Morocco’s unique cultural landscape and enjoy all that this beautiful country has to offer. Happy travels! Book your tour today!

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